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December 13, 2019

Holdiay Eye Hazards

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” 

It’s not just a memorable quote from the movieThe Christmas Story, it happens much more than you would think. According to multiple  studies, the rate of eye injuries due to BB guns and other non-powder firearms (airsoft guns, paintball and even Nerf guns, for example) is on the rise. Why? A whopping 98% of eye injuries can be attributed to a lack of protective eyewear. Even if shooting devices aren’t on your Christmas list this year, your eyes are still at risk whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s a rogue champagne cork or a tree branch to the face, the holidays are fraught with peril that you’ll never see coming (pun intended). Allow me to explain.

Hazardous Toys

Toys are all fun and games until they stab you in the eye and blind your kids forever creating an unforeseen eye injury.  Just ask Today Show co-host, Savannah Gunthrie, who is currently undergoing laser treatments to repair her retina after her 3-year-old whacked her in the face with a toy train! According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, toy-related injuries are the highest during the holidays (no surprise there), so it’s important to make safety a priority when purchasing gifts for your kids. Parents can start by picking age-appropriate toys without sharp edges or projectile parts that can find their way into little (or big) eyeballs. If a toy is potentially hazardous, children should always be properly supervised to prevent injuries. If you buy your child sports equipment, they should always have protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses and any laser products should comply with federal regulations. Do you need help figuring out what kind of protective sports gear is appropriate for your child?  Schedule an appointment today. 


If you haven’t gotten branch to the face in your quest to find the perfect tree, HAVE YOU EVEN LIVED?!  An eye full of pine happens to the best of us, but branches and needles can do some serious damage if you’re not careful. According to one report, Christmas trees are coming for us at alarming rates most incidences of trauma happen during the harvesting, transporting and disposal of trees. Oh, you think you’re safe because you have an artificial tree this year? HAHAHA, nope. Branches are branches, my friends.


Abrasions and other wounds that involve contact with vegetative matter are at risk for developing a fungal infection.  Decorating Christmas trees can also lead to injury, particularly when you’re on the struggle bus trying to wrap lights around the darn thing. Glass ornaments, particularly sharp ones, can harm both adults and children alike, so be careful when hanging them. Most injuries involve corneal abrasions, but tree allergies can happen, too, so be on the lookout for red, watery and itchy eyes.

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out 

As I mentioned, BB/pellet guns are some of the most dangerous gifts to give in terms of eye injuries. Data indicates that out of the 22,800 injuries occurring in one year, 1,255 were ocular. Not only that, but the rate of injuries has increased by a little over 30% over the past 26 years. OUCH. Looks like Ralphie’s mom was right. Red Ryder BB guns aren’t the only shooting device that can hurt your eyes, though. Any projectile toys, including paintball and airsoft guns, can cause significant trauma. We’re not saying that you can’t give your 10-year-old that Nerf ZombieStrike Rivoltinator Blaster (we know you need want one. No purchase affiliation) (side note: Toys R Us lives on, Thanks Target!) they’ve been jonesing for, but make sure you purchase some safety glasses before those tiny foam bullets end up in someone’s eye (and all over your backyard).

Bustin’ OutYour Eye The Bubbly

We’ve all been there, no matter what holiday you’re celebrating. The presents have been opened, the stress of the holiday season is melting away, and it’s finally time to celebrate all the past year’s accomplishments with a bottle of champagne. Provided you’re not about to get behind the wheel, there’s only good times ahead, right? RIGHT?! 


Believe it or not, the United States has the highest number of bottle top and cork related injuries in the world (second to Hungary, which...I don’t even know, guys). For those of you who like to start drinking earlier in the day (hey, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere), here are some helpful tips before you pop that cork at the stroke of midnight. RULE NUMBER ONE: Always hold the cork down when you’re removing the wire that’s wrapped around its base. RULE NUMBER TWO: Prevent champagne and cork debris from spraying into everyone’s eyes by using a towel and pointing the bottle away from yourself and everyone else. RULE NUMBER THREE: Always hold the bottle at a 45-degree angle and pull the cork out gently and slowly.


How can snow cause injuries, you ask? Well, unless you live in the deep south, snow glare is always something to watch out for during the colder months. To prevent this, always wear sunglasses with polarized lenses while you’re out and about. If you live in a state where icicles are a problem, always be aware of your surroundings. Oh, you live in Florida? Try not to spray fake snow directly in your face with an aerosol can, Janet.

Costume Contacts

Are you excited to change up your look for this year’s New Year’s Eve party?  Costume contacts can be a fun way to celebrate, but be aware that cosmetic contacts are considered to be medical devices by the FDA and are illegal to sell without a prescription from an eye care professional. If you decide to take the cheap way out, don’t come crying to us when you end up with a nasty corneal abrasion (just kidding, please  come to us asap).

Have A Happy (And Healthy) New Year!

Enjoy this year’s festivities and don’t forget to take precautions! Did your Christmas tree already attack your eye?  Schedule an appointmenttoday and let us have a look!